The perception on the right is that everyone in the media who's not part of the conservative movement is actively hostile to right-wing interests. Therefore, there's talk in the Republican Party of bypassing mainstream journalists when selecting debate moderators, in favor of conservative media figures. Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner's Washington Secrets column writes about this today:
... GOP insiders tell Secrets that they are considering other choices, even a heavyweight panel of radio bigs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.It's been pointed out that Levin might not exactly be the fairest moderator with regard to one contender, Chris Christie -- a couple of days ago Levin said to Fox's Neil Cavuto, "I will do everything I can, in my little way, to make sure [Christie] is not the nominee." (In addition, last May, when President Obama made a follow-up visit to New Jersey to see areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, Levin referred to Christie and Obama as "same-sex politicians getting back together again to check out the Jersey Shore.")
They told Secrets that they are eager to bring in questioners who understand Republican policies and beliefs and who have the ability to get candidates to differentiate their positions on core conservative values....
The idea took on life when RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer was asked about debate hosting during a Sirius XM radio interview last week. "Mark Levin should ask the questions," Spicer said, according to Breitbart news. That way, he said, grassroots conservatives would have a debate questioner who thinks like them.
But Christie isn't the only potential GOP presidential candidate Levin has insulted.
Marco Rubio? In April, Levin tweeted a link to a blog post that said Rubio was "like a slick used car salesman" on the subject of immigration reform.
Jeb Bush? He's one of several Republicans (Karl Rove is another) who are guilty of "neo-statism," Levin said in June, and he wasn't finished:
"As I said earlier, people like Jeb Bush are in a very bad habit of putting down the American people while holding up the illegal alien," he said. "You see ladies and gentlemen, American cannot survive with just citizens. But you and I -- we haven't said shut the door to immigration. No, we haven't said shut the door to immigration at all. All we ask for from our overlords of these great governing masterminds who screwed up things so badly is that we have a stable, predictable, orderly, lawful, legitimate immigration system and that we uphold the very laws that they pass. And they won't do it."Levin attacked Paul Ryan over his immigration stance ("I've had enough of this crap," Levin said). Levin attacked possible dark horse John Kasich for his decision to support Medicaid expansion in Ohio: "John Kasich has sold his soul -- has sold his soul for money for three years, a hundred percent, on the Medicaid program expansion under Obamacare." Levin said in February. "The man has thrown away his career as a conservative."
All this is nastier than anything Candy Crowley or Brian Williams has said publicly about these candidates.
Now, I don't want to give you the impression that Mark Levin dislikes all the possible 2016 GOP contenders. He's rather fond of this guy:
(Please note that that ad ran during the GOP primary, not the general election. Sean Hannity also endorsed Cruz in that primary, by the way.)
Levin also said before the 2012 Iowa caucuses that if he were voting, he'd vote for Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann (Santorum, at least, seems to be running again.) And in June 2012, Levin made hias admiration for Scott Walker clear:
"I'm going to make a radical, but very rational suggestion -- that Scott Walker at some point, if not sooner, then the next year or the year after, if the Republicans still control the House, be made the Speaker of the House of Representatives. You do not have to be a member of the House of Representatives to be selected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives."Yeah, go ahead, GOP -- try to get a fair, balanced debate with this guy acting as moderator. I'll be sitting at home with a big bowl of popcorn.